Melissa’s Blog

Melissa’s Customized Session Cheat Sheet for Game Masters

In my experience, having a 1 page cheat sheet for each session has benefits that far outweigh the time that it takes to build it.  I recommend creating a unique sheet for each session, a new cheat sheet for that specific game.

Plot Hooks – You should create hooks for every session, not just the first adventure.  You want to get ‘buy in’ for each game so that your players and their characters really care about what is going on in.

Locations/Encounters/Scenes – Depending on the structure of the game system you’re using, having a bullet point list of the locations such as dungeon rooms, waypoints on the road or unique places can be a loose guide to keep your game on track.  If you’re running a more crunchy dungeon delve style of adventure, having a list of probable encounters is just as valuable.  As a storyteller, I find that having a list of possible scenes provides me with a loose framework for the story.  Bonus Points: Create a scene tailored to put each player in the spotlight. Continue reading Melissa’s Customized Session Cheat Sheet for Game Masters

3 Warning Signs that Your Campaign is about to Crash and Burn

We’ve all stuck to a campaign that was well into its death throes. It can be hard to give up on a story that had a lot of work put into and characters that took time to create.  Sometimes shooting a dead horse is a mercy.

No One Shows Up – if your group meets together regularly and suddenly you have schedule conflicts, take a hard look at your game.  Is the reason it’s hard to fill the gaming table due to a lack of interest in the campaign?

Your Players Don’t Care – if the pre-session banter takes twice as long as usual,  your normally attentive players are more interested in their cell phones and almost anything starts a non-gaming related discussion, your players aren’t into your game.

You Don’t Care – It takes a lot of time and effort to run a campaign.  When all of that work feels exhilarating and you can’t wait to run your next session, you know your game is a hit.  If going through your session notes, creating story hooks and figuring out what to do with plot holes is unbearable drudgery, there’s no reason to continue.  If you’re not enjoying the campaign, your players aren’t either.  They can sense that you’ve given up on it.

This advice is easier said than done.  I’ve run my share of dud campaigns and it can be hard to throw in the towel.  In the end, it doesn’t matter if you’re only 3 sessions in or 30 sessions in.  If no one is enjoying it, acknowledge it.  Discuss with your players what went wrong and move on.

5 Things Every GM Wishes You Wouldn’t Do

My most recently played game was a Call of Cthulhu boxed adventure being run for a large group of eight players, most of whom I was meeting for the first time. We had a fantastic, patient and knowledgeable Game Master but the game was disappointing. There was one player whose behavior almost ruined the night.  It’s rare to have a single player enact so many terrible gaming habits in a single session but nonetheless that’s what happened.  Below are the bad behaviors of the offending player.  Take heed my gamer friends and avoid these.

Show Up Late – In my most recent game as a player I had a bad feeling when the game master had to call a player to check if they were coming.  She was coming, but late.  There’s nothing worse for the players and the GM than sitting around a table with nothing to do waiting on someone with poor time management skills.  Arrive on time.

Don’t Bring Your Character – I am as guilty as the next player on this taboo.  If you forget your character sheet often, give your game master a spare copy just in case.  The guilty player in this last game wasn’t only late, they still had to make up a character.  If you haven’t even rolled a character up yet, please show up to the game early.   Continue reading 5 Things Every GM Wishes You Wouldn’t Do

A Tribute to My Father

My father was so gregarious! He loved people and made friends wherever he went. Dad loved the companionship and conversations he shared with others. He always greeted folks with a big smile. His upbeat sense of humor was contagious.

Today I want you to remember him at his happiest, when he was surrounded by friends and family.

Dad looked forward to holidays at the Moritz home and at the Bignell farm. He enjoyed family reunions and picnics in the summer.

Many weekends he went to the farm to help with chores and chat with my uncles, who were like his own brothers. He enjoyed visits to his mother’s home where he could spend time with his sisters and nephew.

Dad enjoyed participating in sports: golfing, bowling, softball and billiards. He loved to feel included and thrived in his league bowling team and summer church league softball team. Continue reading A Tribute to My Father

Morgan – Werewolf & Deadly Assassin

Obsidian Portal Character Sheet

Blood: The Fox
Bone: Lone Wolf
Auspice: Irraka
Tribe: Hunter in the Darkness

Attributes
Intelligence 2
Wits 3
Resolve 2
Strength 3
Dexterity 3
Stamina 2
Presence 2
Manipulation 2
Composure 2

Skills
Medicine 2
Occult (The Hosts) 2
Athletics 3
Brawl (Bite) 3
Larceny 1
Stealth (Surprise Attack) 4
Survival 1
Persuasion 2
Streetwise 2
Subterfuge 3 Continue reading Morgan – Werewolf & Deadly Assassin